Revive the mixtape with a MakerBotgeek.com Jul 27, 2012 Back to press
In the murky pre-digital past, there was a form of art known as “making a mixtape.” Music fans would aggregate tracks and record them onto a primitive cassette tape for others (sometimes a potential mate) to listen to. Although the mixtape has been lost to antiquity, the folks behind the MakerBot are trying to bring it back with a new digital attitude. Behold, the MakerBot Mixtape.
The MakerBot Mixtape is essentially a compact MP3 player that is shaped like a cassette. Not cool enough? Well, you 3D print most of the components from files you download online. Don’t you want to be able to tell people you 3D printed your own MP3 player? Strictly speaking, the things that make it an MP3 player aren’t printed. The kit comes with the internal electronics, NAND flash, and battery. You just have to print the casing, and buttons.
The files needed to complete your project amount to a few megabytes, and won’t take long to make if you have a MakerBot Replicator. This device retails for about $1,750 and extrudes hot plastic in thin layers to build whatever you want. The end product will have 2GB of storage, a standard headphone jack, and no screen. Certainly more useful than a cassette.
The kit only costs $25, but you need to already have an expensive 3D printer. If you don’t have your very own MakerBot, you can buy a pre-printed Mixtape player for $39. The Mixtape shows up as USB mass storage when plugged in, so you just drag and drop files on. This might not be the most efficient way to listen to music, but it’s sure to be a good way to start a conversation with the right people.